tv [untitled] May 12, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm EDT
rich virginia history. a couple questions. one is artifacts when you dig for them, what's the average department in the ground? with the exception of the confederate earthworks. i under thstand that. is it by gravity? what's the average department and why are they in the ground certain places deeper than others? the red brick structure in the background, is that a rebuilt church or is part of it original? and can you speak to the settlement that was in maine that was i don't know if it was abandoned by cold weather perhaps. thank you so much. >> okay. that's a lot of questions there. as far as depth. it depends where the object was dropped or thrown. if it goes down a well, it can be 15 feet deep. if it's in a layer that's just
been laid on the ground and, say, when a confederate earthwork was built here, some ground's removed, it would be right on the surface, so it just all depends how the land was used where the artifact's found. let's see. go ahead. >> the church. >> oh, the church. the church you see behind us. yes, it's a 1907 reconstruction behind an original church tower from the 17th century. >> are you surprised that you found as much material as you have? that's a spot right there on the river. you get very strong weather and high tides and yet there's 1.5 million artifacts in your archaeology has been. >> well, i've got a couple theories for that. one, they were under siege most of the time. i think the colonists, the first
three years or so spent so much time inside. they're not going out. going to leave anything outside very much. they didn't spend much time out there. the other thing is so many people died immediately and their possessions, you know, are just tossed away. >> i think that's a good reason that they are sort of ownerless objects sort of kicking around. >> let's go back to calls. martinsville, virginia, gene, hi. >> caller: calling from western virginia, and mr. kelso, i have your book. i epahmadinejnjoyed reading it. when the jamestown settlement took place, the little ice age was going on and the indian people had very little corn. and how did this drought affect the jamestown settlement? and number two, i want to comment on the indian people. you're chose to two indian communities there at jamestown and charles city county, the
chick hominy over 1,000 people and the settlement the jamestown and their ancestors. have the indian descendants been involved? do you get feedback, participation, from the indian people there in the community? thank you so much. >> well, i can speak to the second question first. and that, yeah, there's much interaction with our project and the current united tribes. in fact, today there are some members of this tribe on the site demonstrating and some in the original draft of the virginia indians. so, they are as interested in what we are finding here and we find a lot of artifacts that were traditionally inside the fort. so, we know that it wasn't one of those cases where the indians
were on one side of the palisade and the settlers were on the inside. there was interaction going on, no question about that. and the first question, again -- >> he was talking about a period of drought. he talked about drought. >> oh, drought. you want to take that? >> well, yes, he's referring to the scientific evidence, boring of cypress trees that has shown that there was drought for 10 years, 1606 to 1612. the worst drought in almost 10,000 years. we feel that it kind of explains some things. that maybe it explains why things fell apart so quickly, that there was stress in the environment, stress on the indian community, stress on the animals. there weren't so many animals running around on the island. so it was something the english did not understand not having been here.
and it kind of explains a lot of the friction that evolved. >> and add to that is that they had a problem with the water as well. the drier it is, then the higher the salt content goes up. the saltwater goes further inland and jamestown is where the salt and the fresh come together. it's called brackish water. but in a drought time it would be very saul salty and that was poisoning them we think, too. >> was there another settlement after the original settlement ended there? >> didn't end. >> this is the first permanent english settlement in america. so, there's still -- you know, it's still occupied. >> it was a colonial capital for almost 100 years. >> that spot in particular, did they come back to the spot on the tip of the island there? we have remains of buildings that were built after the middle
of the 17th century right in the fort. they're in the fort but they're not part of the fort. we do find artifacts that date later, in later use. but most of it became the churchyard. so, that's where -- what we have there are burials. >> and to agriculture and it's all planted in corn. thank goodness, because john smith has proclaimed this is a very fine place to erect a great city. but if it had been, we would not have the archeologicaeological resources to find. >> let's go to howard in san diego, sorry. >> caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. i had a question about any linkage of george washington or the washington family to jamestown and the area. i know his grandfather came over in the early or 1720s or 1730s, john augustine washington, and i
see small towns named washington. of course, it was a common name in virginia and northern north carolina. i've also read something somewhere and i'm not sure here but that perhaps some washington family relatives came over earlier. do you have any information on that? >> not that i know of. not at all. at jamestown we don't. they settled northern -- the northern part of virginia, on the rappahannock and the potomac, in the 18th century, where there was vacant land. >> we have another caller in california. this is ronnie, go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. dr. kelso, when did cremation start in the united states and should it be banned? >> your question was about cremation, sir? >> i don't know when -- i don't
know. >> should it be banned? >> well, as an archaeologicst people get cheated in the future by not being able to study skeletal remains. they really do. i don't know about banning, but making sure that some people get buried traditionally. >> with lots of rapiers, right? >> yes. >> we were fortunate to have a tour group with you as you led our cameras through the settlement there, and we got to go into the lab there. how often do you both personally get to take students or groups through the site? >> it seems continually. every day that's some kimed nd tour that crops up if i'm out here. but we also have a schedule tour the first and third tuesday of
every month through november, which is called in the trenches. this is by -- make an appointment and there's a fee and i personally take people around the site on those days. and we have another tour for the collections. >> we have new philadelphia, ohio, is next and jason, you're on the air. >> caller: [ inaudible ] >> jason. speak up, i can't hear your question. go ahead. >> caller: what happened to the [ inaudible ] tribe? do they still exist? >> it was a question about what happened to the tribe. >> the pallatan? >> yes. >> there are groups called the united tribes of virginia. there are i believe eight. and they are descendants on reservations, one of the oldest reservations in the country. so, they're still here as they say.
>> we had a caller earlier ask about the lost colony in north carolina, some recent news that they may have discovered a map or indication of a fort on a map in the british museum in looking at it. has anybody done any excavations in that area? >> we have done some preliminary survey of the area and found some interesting hints of early artifacts, 16th century. possibly. and so we have plans to revisit the area very, very soon. >> how much are both of you involved or in contact with your british colleagues on early colonial or precolonial history? >> well, we both have, you know. >> we're both fellows of the society of antiqueries.
you have to be elected to join, an english society, british society. it's very old. 200 years old -- 400 years old. >> much of the records, are much of the records kept in the uk? are there good records about jamestown, for example? >> well, yeah. most of them are known and have been looked at. and we have transcriptions of them. but, you know, there's always a surprise discovery like we were talking about, the lost colony map. we actually have studied another map in the british museum. it shows -- really shows that the fort -- the actual fort where we found it was already -- that location had been put on a map by a mapmaker in 1608 and no one had recognized that that was really, you know, pinpointing the site.
>> hear from our callers again. oxford, mississippi, joanne, hello. >> caller: good afternoon. i'm enjoying this enormously. i saw the exhibit written bone and it's one of the most fascinating things i've ever seen. i noticed you showed the captain gosnold reproduction. but you had a video of a woman and there was an interpretive reconstruction of a woman who would walk away from you in the video. you would see how you started with her skeleton and then the forensic reproduction. she walked with a limp. it was stunning. it was stunning. and i was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about who you think she was and the other reproduction was of the head of a woman who was believed to be a slave and you determined that based on the shape of her
back which would have been bent in such a way over years and years of literally back-breaking labor. if you could tell us about those people, i'd really love to hear it. >> those individuals actually aren't from our site. they're from other 17th century sites in virginia. so, we don't really know particulars about them. but it is a fascinating exhibit. just to learn -- to see what you can learn from skeletal material. and we understand it's been extremely popular. >> that caller mentioned being fascinated by the video. over the 20 years that you've been working at jamestown, what's been the biggest technological leap that has helped your work there? for both of you. >> well, technological. it's just the geographic information system. the fact that we can record in
three dimensions where we find something, you know, the depth and the location in the fort. and all that information we can put in photographs and catalog material from the artifact finds. it can be so accessible at one computer. to me it's just a marvel. i started out with pencil and paper and that was our high technology 50 years ago in archaeology. but this is just astounding. and without it we would be really hard put to keep track of all the thousands of pieces of data that come out. >> next caller is bill in lakewood, colorado. bill? >> caller: yeah, dr. kelso, this is bill hughes and i wanted to thank you what you did. i was stationed at ft. houston back in 1966. and i spent many weekends trying to find jamestown. and i was totally amazed that it wasn't -- couldn't find it. that's one.
two, i did find in the church in williamsburg, i did find george washington's grandmother. i was doing some rubbings on the old -- so, i don't know if it's true or not, but i was always, you know, i have a picture of that gravestone. i was really enthusiastic. but i want to thank you. you really filled a big void in my life. >> well, i'm glad we could find jamestown finally, that's good. >> bill kelso's book "jamestown the buried truth" if you want some further details -- if you can't get to the site or you've been there and you want more information, the book "jamestown, the buried truth." next up is bridgeport, ohio. hello, lou, go ahead. turn down your set there and go ahead with your question or comment for bill kelso or bly
straub. i'm going to put you on hold, lou. bill kelso, we just showed your book, "the buried truth." how long did that one take you to write? >> well, it came out in '06. so, it's always -- it's always in production, really, and a revision, too. i'm working on a revision of that because we found so much but that basically tells the story the way i saw it. and, i mean, it was -- since we started the project in 1994, i guess you could say it took 12 years. >> the caller a few minutes ago calling and saying he was in 1966 trying to find jamestown. do you find a lot of amateur archaeologists telling you much of the same thing? >> no. i've kind of thought what he was saying it's so confusing here because there's other types of jamestowns around here.
and the signs are just everywhere, and it's confusing for a visitor to come in. that may be what he was up against. >> let's try lou in bridgeport, ohio. go ahead. >> caller: yes. i thank you for taking my call. i was wondering, it's -- settlers of jamestown but i was wondering how it affected the indians, the natural inhabitants of the area, when the settlers came to jamestown? thank you. >> i didn't get that question. >> i didn't either. >> that caller was on the impact of the indian culture, the native american culture, you touched on that a little bit on the artifacts you found this. but more broadly what was the impact of the english settlement there? >> well, ultimately the population was minimized of the virginia indians. they were given reservations
ultimately. but immediately in the first contact there was evidence of friendship and this was evidence of violence. so, it's hard to just make one generalization about the impact of the two cultures on each other immediately. but my view is that the indians were -- although they far outnumbered the colony, 15,000 to 104 to begin with, they still saw iron coming in. they saw guns. they saw boats, sailing boats, that that technology would be useful to them. so, i think they let jamestown survive. they could have wiped it out, but they let it survive because of the fact that this could -- technologically enhance their own world, you know, the empire really and help them against their enemies. >> here's deerfield, massachusetts. todd, your question or comment?
>> caller: yes. first off, thank you for taking my call. dr. kelso, this is a question for you. martins 100 site that was discovered by ivernol hume, how much overlap is there between your project and the project that iver did. did he have any interest, i'm sure he did to, in coming to your site and seeing what was going on as well. >> yes, in fact, he was on an advisory board for the first year here. and he kind of pointed to the first place to dig, as a matter of fact, in the beginning. and had quite an impact on us. how does it relate to martins? it dates to 1619. i worked on that, too, in the survey, years ago, with him. and so that existed downriver. it's probably six, eight miles away. and it was a particular -- it
was called particular plantation. the new way the virginia company was settling virginia. and jamestown was the seat of the government. so, there would have been representatives from that area in the first representative assembly. so, you know, there was always some kind of connection. and then it went on to be a plantation all during the 17th century. >> how far is the original historic jamestown from the current seat of government, richmond? how far down the james river? >> 50 miles. i guess 50. >> sebring, florida, next up. george ann, hi, there. >> okay, go ahead. >> george ann, go ahead, sebring, florida. >> caller: i was fortunate enough to be able to bring my children from the ipswich area of england to virginia so they got to see where the settlers
came from versus where they were coming to. and they knew that they lived in big mansions in england, and over here we were living in mud huts. and i would also like to know if you are checking around in gloucester around pallatan's chimney, where chief pallatan had his home, and if so, are you finding anything of interest there? >> no. well, at another site, excuse me. at another site was really where pallatan, it was a major village when the settlers came in. it's some distance away from the pallatan chimney. that i think is legendary more than real, that that was wherever -- that that was a major pallatan hecation catiocn
at all. >> here's hanglos angeles, kerro ahead. >> caller: i was wondering if you were doing any excavation in the water, where the portion of the fort goes out to the water. >> no, we haven't because of the fact that the fort is nine feet above the bottom of the river right next -- at the shoreline. so, anything that -- so that level is the level of 1607. and so anything that was left from the fort that was in the context above nine feet would be washed away, gone. i mean, there's no -- there's just really nothing that could be out there except maybe the buried bottom of a well. and the only part missing is about a 17% pie-shaped piece of the fort that did wash away before a seawall was put down to protect -- to stop the eocean.
>> how easy is it to dig? it looks sort of like sandy soil from our video. >> yes, it is sandy soil. the trouble is when it drys out, it becomes like concrete, so it's tough. the real problem here is the best time we can excavate is during the summer when students are available for field schools. we have one every year. but that's also when things heat up around here. so, it is very, very a tough, physically challenging operation. >> a couple more calls here. lansing, michigan, and hi to liz. you're on the air. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i visited jamestown, oh, at least 30 years ago. and just from watching your program it looks like the development, the research has come much further along than what i had seen. but at the time i was with a small private tour company, and the tour guide at the time said
that some of the settlers from jamestown they were seeking people from eastern europe specifically, like, poland to come and work in glassworking, or glassmaking, and because of the forests in the area that would have allowed the settlers to build, you know, the fires they needed to work the sand to make it into glass. i'm of polish decent and i've always wondered if that was true or not. was there anything true to that from what the tour guide told me from 30 years ago? >> yes, we know from the historical documentation that both individuals from poland and from germany were brought to make glass and to make pitch and tar and soap ashes which was a comedy very much commodity in demand in england. before they built the glass house off the island they
actually were working in the fort to make their trials of glass. we have all these crucibles and brought to make new glass within our fort context. >> let's go to columbia, maryland, and aliciaalicia, hi . >> caller: thank you. good afternoon. could you kindly give us the names of those i think you call them the united tribes. and then also could you please answer my question, are these tribes recognized by the state? and then also are they also recognized by the u.s. government? thank you very much. >> okay. i can try to name them. there's the upper and lower chick hominy, the monkey,
madison eye, monican. that's five at heat. and -- but we work primarily with the monkey and manapani and the chick hominy. they are not federal recognized. but i believe they are state recognized. >> and are descendants of those tribes still living in the area? >> yeah. >> yes. >> there's some out here today, as a matter of fact. >> here's new orleans and we say hello to ede, hi. >> caller: wonderful program. very quick statement. my mom's family always claimed they descended from jamestown captain, captain harris. my question specifically is, what political authority would have granted military commissions to these early
militia captains at that jamestown colony? >> well, that's a very good question. there is the whole operation was run by what we call the virginia company, but the crown had sort of a last say in whatever they did. and when the first resident governor came over, he appointed a lot of men to various military positions. so, i think it's from the crown to the company to the -- their rank. what they would have as far as military men. do you know any? >> i don't know when harris was here, but it really depends on the time. >> yeah. >> 1624 virginia company lost their charter, so became a royal
colony. >> before we wrap up with phone callers, one twitter question, a tweet from tracy who asks, is there a specific piece of information or an artifact that you hope to find? >> i know what you want. >> my idea, i take a lot of heat for this. we haven't found a complete cannon yet, okay, that's up there. >> we found the muzzle of one. but that's not good enough for him. >> not good enough. >> it blew up when it was fired. >> bly, is there an artifact that you'd hilike to find? >> go ahead, you go. >> oh, goodness gracious. you know, we have almost found everything you can imagine from straight pins to guns. i love them all, so that's a hard question for me. >> here's williamsburg, virginia. jeff, go ahead with your comment or question. >> caller: hi, dr. kelso, i met you and the curator a couple
years ago. my name is jeff. my question is from 1607 to 1699, and i understand a lot of the records burned, but there were quite a number of ships that arrived in jamestown probably 100 or 1,000. is there any detailed book that you used in your research that describes those ships arriving and possibly who was on those ships? during that time period. >> well, to my experience it's scattered in the record. you wouldn't -- there's no comprehensive list that i know of. >> and they're not complete either. yeah, there are some passenger lists, but unfortunately no one's compiled it all. >> yeah, it wouldn't have survived. >> one more comment here, a question from these sa cramento california, hi. >> caller: hi. i had heard that john rolf was the one responsible